New Makilala ladies revealed: Getting to know you, getting to hope you like us

Makilala mainstays Cristina, Jen and Rachelle with guest host Hanna Choa Yu (right) joining the episode on the FYLPRO youth leadership program

Makilala mainstays Cristina, Jen and Rachelle with guest host Hanna Choa Yu (right) joining the episode on the FYLPRO youth leadership program

By Cristina DC Pastor & Jen Furer

Ta ra ra ran…ta ran.

There was no Julie Andrews warbling, and certainly no tap dancing, but there was lots of chatting and chuckling and chomping on snacks hurriedly bought from stores around Fifth Avenue.

It was 6 p.m. on a Friday, and many of the women came in office wear. In an instant, the Faldef office, which was kindly offered for our use, was filled with the sound of dulcet chatter among a dozen women some of whom did not know each other, but ended the night like wanton sorority sisters. They were the talented Filipino American women who responded to Makilala’s call for a co-host and gathered for what they thought would be an audition. Instead we had a ‘talk-a-thon.’

Makilala (“Get to know” in Tagalog) is the first Filipino American talk show in New York, which is hosted by book author Jen Furer, health educator Rachelle Ocampo and journalist Cristina DC Pastor. The monthly program is aired through Queens Public Television. Maricor Fernandez of Marilag Productions is the producer.

We interviewed the women in two batches because the office could not accommodate all of the women plus the three Makilala mainstays and consultant/adviser Diane Rubin Kaye of CNN. They filled us in on their views on business and politics, body image, women empowerment.

What a diverse coterie of personable women! From them we learned that ice cream and chocolate are a must-have in a diet! That working in fashion can co-exist with a job in the UN. That, if one pays close attention, Fashion Week and global warming convey the same message. That body image and human trafficking are closely related.

We met all sorts: the investment executive who runs in the NYC marathon every year, the boutique entrepreneur who lovingly teases her husband as a ‘terrorist,’ Ms. Webby, and Off-Broadway’s Imelda Marcos, no less. They are just some of the women who want to make a difference by becoming involved with the community through Makilala.

Let us meet the smart and brazen women who will take turns co-hosting the show. The opportunity to co-host was expanded to include also a chance for the women to be a guest panelist or a guest performer.

Alphabetically now:


Ledy Almadin, mother of two teens, Elena and Ellie, and manager at EisnerAmper LLP CPA firm in Manhattan. “It would be a fun experience.”

Hanna Choa-Yu. Delegate to the United Nations where she covers Security Council issues, and fashion editor for Zara. “It would be an honor to serve the Filipino American community by discussing issues that are relevant to us.”

*Khrys Corpuz. Vice Consul at the Philippine Consulate General in New York. “My work as consul has provided me a chance to experience a range of issues, from immigration, cultural exchanges, community networking and second-gen empowerment (are some topics she would like to talk about).”

Jessy Daing-Musbeh. Proprietor of Jessy Couture and co-owner of Bella Chic. “I’ve been searching for a Filipino organization wherein I can join and help serve the community in my own little way.”


*Leslie Espinosa. Fellow for Teach for the Philippines. “I am creative and passionate and I love to encourage and inspire others.”

*Amada de Leon. Currently in Manila working for GMA Kapuso Foundation. “I consider myself a ‘Jane of All Trades.’ I love to challenge myself with activities that are fun, rewarding, exciting and interesting.”

Jaygee Macapugay. Actor and singer who starred as Imelda Marcos in the Off-Broadway “Imelda: A New Musical.” “I am so proud that this show even exists. There is really a need for conversations that directly affect Filipinos.”

Charina Nadura. Multimedia news fellow at Democracy Now! and a full time student. She has a son named Artchan. “Watching Makilala put a smile on my face. It is like a breath of fresh air to see Filipina beauties in front of the screen embracing our true identity and introducing our culture and traditions to a wider audience.”


Lisa Nohs. Long Island entrepreneur and a proud GlamMa of seven grand kids. Lisa is the owner and founder of Lockers4Laundry. “It’s part of my bucket list. I’ve never done anything like this before but I’m up to the challenge. I want to be a medium to touch somebody’s life and make a difference.”

Carolyn Joyce Pena. A member of Philippine Forum and advocate for human rights and immigration reform. A Soprano for a Roman Catholic Filipino Choir in New York, Himig and Alay. “I want to share my opinions and ideas on how we as a community can help our ‘kababayan’ at home, and celebrate our rich culture.”

Hanalei Ramos. New York City coordinator for BAYAN USA, and co-founder of Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment/ Gabriela NY. “I am thrilled that there’s an avenue for Filipinas to have representation on the air.”

Loren San Diego. Has worked for the technology division of various financial firms, including Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Barclays. Proud mother of two daughters, Lana and Leia. “I am always looking for ways to grow as an individual. It would be wonderful to meet people in our community and be inspired by what they do.”


Carol Tanjutco. Lawyer, CPA, investment specialist, journalist and artist. “I encounter the daily questions people have. Timely topics such as health care, taxation, and money matters are of interest to everyone (I can speak about these topics).”

Joey Tapia. Art and entertainment lawyer with law degrees from Columbia Law School and the University of the Philippines College of Law. “I am a curious person and I love to learn and meet people and share ideas with them. I value intelligent conversation.”

*Khrys Corpuz, Leslie Espinosa and Amada de Leon were interviewed separately because they could not attend the Manhattan meeting.

One Comment

  1. Good luck to all the talented and beautiful ladies who are vying for the position of being co-host
    of Makilala.

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